GOVERNMENT: Public Servants Asking Too Much
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE demand by public servants for a 10 percent wage increase is unaffordable and should be rejected, says the Cape Chamber of Commerce.
“It is more than double the rate of inflation and it comes after-above-inflation increases last year,” said Mr Michael Bagraim, President of the Chamber.
He pointed out that the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, had said in his Budget speech last month that the public servants wage bill had doubled in the last five years.
“I think this rules out any suggestion that our public servants are under paid. They have done very well in the last few years without any evidence of an increase in productivity,” Mr Bagraim said. “The Government should stand firm against this unreasonable demand. The public service already costs 40 percent of the Government’s revenue and that is too much.”
The problem for business, he said, was that the demand came at a time when electricity tariffs were going up by 25.8 percent and diesel, the fuel on which the country’s transport and agriculture industries depended, was expected to rise by more than 60 cents a litre.
“It is too much. The country’s competitive position is being undermined by these soaring increases in administered prices and the ballooning public service wage bill.”
He said the increases would add to the cost of doing business and they meant that virtually every product made or processed in South Africa would become more expensive, making our experts less competitive.
“The priority should be to create more jobs and not to pay more to those who already have jobs,” he said.
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